Health and care partners in Sussex are praising the monumental efforts of staff and volunteers across the region as it marks the anniversary of the first Covid-19 vaccination and the start of the biggest immunisation programme in history.
More than 3 million doses of the vital Covid-19 jab, including 1st, 2nd and booster and 3rd doses, have now been administered in Sussex since this time last year.
Latest data also shows that 1.3million people have been protected with their vaccination.
Vaccinations have been delivered through a combination of large-scale vaccination centres, hospital hubs, GP surgeries and community pharmacies.
Watch a message from Amy Galea, the Senior Responsible Officer, for the programme on the one year anniversary.
The COVID-19 vaccination centre at Churchill Square shopping centre in Brighton has this week increased the number of available appointments for people to receive their vital protection.
Up to 1,400 extra appointments each week are now available to book, as the centre temporarily suspended walk-ins from Wednesday 8 December.
These appointments are being added to the National Booking System and are available for people to book into via the website or by calling 119.
In total it will mean that the service can provide 1,400 booked appointments a day.
The Churchill Square Vaccination Centre is run by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT), which has provided large-scale vaccination centres throughout Sussex since January.
Teams from SCFT have so far delivered more than 750,000 first, second and booster vaccinations through both the centres and teams who have travelled to care homes and residents who cannot leave their homes.
Appointments can be booked for first, second and booster vaccinations using the NHS booking system – www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119.
Walk-in and pop-up sessions continue to take place in various locations across the city at mobile vaccination units.
Brighton residents can check when the mobile unit is next in their neighbourhood on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website.
People aged 40 and over, along with those in high risk groups, are now able to book in for their life-saving Covid booster jab three months after their second dose as the NHS vaccine programme is extended this week.
The online booking system for vaccines has been updated which means that people in those groups no longer have to wait six months after their second dose to top up their protection.
From this week, people in their forties can book their top up jab a month advance – two months on from their second dose. All eligible adults can now book their life-saving booster jab two months (61 days) after their second dose using the NHS national booking system, getting their top-up in protection three months (91 days) on from their second dose following updated JCVI guidance.
A new pop-up vaccination service has been set up for people in Newhaven until the end of January.
Starting next week, residents in Newhaven can attend the pop-up vaccination session at Newhaven Youth Centre Denton Island, BN9 9BA, every Tuesday (excluding 28th December) between the hours of 11:00 and 16:00.
The walk-in sessions are offering first and second vaccinations, as well as boosters for those who are eligible with no appointment needed.
The confirmed dates for the pop-up sessions are as follows:
People who can attend are:
A spokesperson for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme said:
“Vaccination sessions have been taking place in Newhaven for some time in Lower Place car park, but as the weather gets colder and demand for vaccinations increases, its makes sense to provide vaccinations in a more permanent location.
“These sessions are for locals in Newhaven to ensure they have access to COVID-19 protection over the winter period. We encourage anyone who has not yet done so, to come forward for their vaccinations as soon as they can. We look forward to seeing you there!”
If you would prefer an arranged timeslot for your vaccination, you can also book an appointment at your local vaccination service using the NHS booking website – www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. The Newhaven service will not appear on the NHS booking website for booked appointments.
Unvaccinated women who suffered with COVID-19 during their pregnancies have told their harrowing stories of battling the virus, from being hospitalised to having emergency C-sections, as part of a new campaign encouraging expectant mothers to get the vaccine.
The video features 3 women who experienced serious complications after contracting COVID-19 before they’d been vaccinated, as well as the doctors and frontline staff who treated them, to warn of the dangers of the virus for pregnant women and their babies.
Medical expert Professor Asma Khalil from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is also interviewed as part of the powerful new film and provides further reassurance on the importance of the vaccine.
Data published last week by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows the vaccines are safe for mothers and their babies, with good birth outcomes for vaccinated women who had their babies up to August this year. There were no consistent differences between vaccinated women and all women in the figures for stillbirths, low baby birthweights and premature births.
Nearly 1 in 5 COVID-19 patients who are most critically ill are pregnant women who have not been vaccinated. Of those pregnant women in hospital with symptomatic COVID-19, 98% are unvaccinated, and no fully vaccinated pregnant women were admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 in England between February and the end of September 2021. Around 1 in 5 women who are hospitalised with the virus need to be delivered preterm to help them recover and 1 in 5 of their babies need care in the neonatal unit.
Former soap star and member of music group Spandau Ballet, Martin Kemp has joined the national effort to get people vaccinated – by appearing as Father Christmas in a new film released this week.
The video shows Martin preparing for Christmas – booking the sleigh in for an MOT, polishing his boots, getting his beard in shape and, most importantly, getting his COVID-19 vaccine.
Martin Kemp said:
We all know the run up to Christmas can be one of the busiest times of the year – buying presents, decorating the tree, eating mince pies with family and friends. But I can’t stress enough how important it is to tick your COVID-19 booster or flu jab off your ‘to do’ list this festive season, among all your other preparations, to ensure that you can enjoy Christmas with your loved ones.
It’s quick and easy and will keep us all protected as best as possible this winter. Now go book your jabs – Father Christmas said so!
Much more information about the vaccination programme is available on our website, including details of the services available in each area, latest data, stakeholder briefings, answers to frequently asked questions and links to all the national leaflets and materials.
Thank you for your support in helping to keep our local communities updated and informed about this fast-moving and unprecedented vaccination programme.